Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver a speech outlining the Obama administration’s plan to solve the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians Wednesday, said Department of State spokesman Mark Toner Tuesday.
While it remains unclear what exactly Kerry will say, it is believed that the speech will center on four core issues regarding a potential two-state solution: borders, the partition of Jerusalem, security and the refugee problem.
Kerry’s speech may be based on a “framework document” released in March 2014 which outlined a potential solution to the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the framework, but Kerry was unable to secure the support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who never provided a response to the plan.
Kerry attempted to revive direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in 2014, but they ultimately collapsed in April of the same year. Both Kerry and U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk would later blame Israel for the failed talks. The State Department attempted to walk back those accusations.
Kerry’s speech comes as U.S.-Israel relations hit their lowest point in years, largely due to the Obama administration’s abstention during a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution which condemned Israeli settlements. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes blame Israel for the abstention, which represented a major shift in U.S. policy regarding Israel and the U.N.
Israeli officials expect another clash with the White House before President Barack Obama leaves office Jan. 20; it could be based on the aftermath of Kerry’s speech. Netanyahu’s government is already preparing to counter such initiatives by working with President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration.
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